The aesthetics of a steampunk enthusiast are instantly recognizable, with their penchant for Victorian dress augmented by arrays of cogs and pocketwatch chains. However, finding fellow hobbyists to hang out with isn't as simple as chatting up goggle-wearing tinkerers at their workshop. Steampunk Minnesota provides this service by collecting the area's events for their followers' favorite sub-genre. Masquerade balls, bazaars, and train rides give fans a stage to show off their costumes and gentlemen time travelers the chance to jump to present day without looking suspicious.
Gordon Franks and Pat Worley are more than black belts. They’re ninth-degree black belts who share their chosen martial art with youngsters and adults alike through USA Karate, the school they cofounded. The school - which opened in 1973 and has been operating for more than 40 years - was featured on the local CBS station and teaches self-defense techniques that help students graduate to higher-level belts and translate into increased agility, coordination, and self-confidence.
A nonprofit Christian fundraising group for youth ministries in the Twin Cities, Fishing for Life hosts the Fish Fair each year to net assets for its cause while attendees snack on fried fish. Budding freshwater huntsmen can learn the fine points of lure making or fly tying and others can try their hands at archery or laser shooting. As young whippersnappers ricochet around the bounce houses and dance to live music, their mellower companions can listen to a tall tale at story time or create a brush-by-brush replica of Mona Lisa Eats a Burrito at the arts-and-crafts table. Boy Scouts in attendance can earn a fishing merit badge with their participation, as each amateur ichthyologist can attempt to catch his or her own dinner at the trout pond.
Designed by prolific course architect Joel Goldstrand, Rum River Hills Golf Club's 18-hole course weaves through 6,308 yards of water-lined fairways and undulating greens. Water hazards present challenges from the very first tee, where aggressive players may choose to lay up or drive balls over a pond to cut the corner off of a fairway that dog-legs right, setting up a favorable approach onto a green 413 yards away. Rum River Hills tests players’ short game with undulating greens that take golf balls through more sharp turns than a golf cart driving through a grocery store.
A full-length driving range allows players to warm up before they take to the course, and the club's PGA instructors offer lessons for those looking to improve their swing mechanics. After a day at the links, course patrons can drop in at McDuff's Restaurant, which serves an expansive menu of salads, burgers, steaks, and pizzas. Inside the sunlit dining room, 11 TVs let guests catch up with live sports, while outdoor patio seating caters to those hoping to reverse engineer the technology of the lawn mowers maintaining the course below.
Course at a Glance: * Designed by Joel Goldstrand * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,308 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 71.0 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 117 from the farthest tees * Four tee options
ProKart Indoor Racing lets riders tear through concrete turns and down straightaways at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Seated in low-slung black or red go-karts, drivers are just inches above the ground as they careen around the course. Computers track them during the race, recording finishing times. The track at ProKart's Maple Grove facility runs inside and outside, weather permitting.
With a focus on entertainment, Abrakadoodle can transform any party (starting at $199) into a chance to expand minds and glitter-slicks with 1,800 choices of creative games and lessons. Themed experiences include Action Painting, Race to Outer Space, Flower Power, and A Journey to the Stars. The expansive schedule features classes (one hour, $16) in painting and drawing, as well as imagination-fueled camps (two hours, $24) in superhero, pirate, and princess make-believe.